Resistance to Social influence


Explanations of resistance to social influence

  • Research studies carried out by Asch, Zimbardo, Hofling and Milgram had some ppts that resisted the pressure put on them and retained their independence:
    • Asch= 25% did not conform at any point
    • Milgram= 35% refused to give full 450V
    • Hofling= 1/22 nurses refused to administer the drug
    • Zimbardo= 2/3 of the guards resisted the pressure to behave sadistically

Social support

  • Conformity
    • Social support can help people to resist conformity
    • The pressure to conform can be reduced if there are other people who are not conforming
    • The person not conforming does not need to be right but simply the fact that someone else is not following the majority appears to enable a person to be free to follow their own conscience

+Research evidence supports role of dissenting peers in resisting conformity

  • Allen and Levine found independence increased with one dissenter in an Asch type study
  • The dissenter wore thick glasses and said he had problems with vision
  • Resistance not motivated by following what someone else says but it enables someone to be free of pressure from the group
  • Obedience
    • Social support can also help people to resist obedience
    • The pressure to obey can be reduced if there is another person who is seen to disobey
    • The ppt may not follow the disobedient person's beh but the point is that the other persons…


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